Should classic black-and-white films be colorized? My answer is no, under no circumstances (save one, which we’ll get to in a second). There is a beauty to a black-and-white picture, a mystique, a glamour, that can’t be achieved with a color film. Not that I’m advocating that moviemakers ought to go back to doing everything in black-and-white. Not at all. In fact, when modern movies *are* filmed in black-and-white—Tim Burton’s ED WOOD comes first to mind—the effect isn’t the same anyway. The mystique isn’t achieved. I don’t know why that is. Maybe a patina of time is required for it to develop on its own. But even as filming modern movies in black-and-white fails to achieve the enchantment of a classic older film, so too does an attempt to colorize a black-and-white classic destroy it.
Classic black-and-white movies should be colorized only for the sake of satisfying curiosity, and this should be done on a limited basis. Colorize a segment of a movie, just to give an idea of what said movie would have looked like in color, but don’t tamper with the whole. I submit to you, then, this colorized clip of 1931’s DRACULA. As a curiosity, nothing more.
Just isn’t the same, is it?